Thursday, 14 April 2022

Ni.PARK event strengthens ties between agri-tech businesses

Ni.PARK tenants were able to strengthen links with each other at an innovation evening hosted by Harper Adams University.

Businesses who have moved into the Newport site, along with Agri EPI Centre West Midlands hub tenants, were able to share ideas and expertise for the first time at the special networking event.

Agri EPI, based at Harper Adams, supports the development of engineering and solutions for agri-tech firms in the agricultural and food sector.

Phase One of Ni.PARK was delivered by Telford & Wrekin Council and offers a range of new sustainable employment units at the site on the outskirts of Newport.

Ni.PARK offers a range of  units and tenants all benefit from knowledge exchange with Harper Adams University and project partners.

Guests were welcomed to the event by University Vice-Chancellor Ken Sloan before taking part in round table discussions.

These were followed by opportunities for businesses to learn how they can tap into a pipeline of new talent emerging from the university – via undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, apprenticeships, research studentships and student placements.

Attendees also heard more about innovation projects and funding opportunities from Harper Adams Business Development Manager Clare Keegan and Liz Wakeham-Jones, Senior Account Manager at Telford & Wrekin Council’s Enterprise Telford business support team.

Tenants can use the facilities and Agri EPI networks to develop their knowledge and products – building on research which is at the cutting edge of the agri-tech world.

Councillor Lee Carter (Lab), Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, Regeneration and the High Street, said: “This innovation event was a fantastic opportunity for businesses to network and share ideas with each other with one common goal – to make Ni.PARK a centre of excellence for agri-tech businesses.

“This was a great partnership event hosted by Harper Adams University which can only benefit all businesses that attended going forward.”

Clare Keegan said: “After years in planning with Telford & Wrekin Council it was great to see us all come together for this inaugural evening of sharing and learning. 

“The team from the Council and Department for International Trade (DIT) talked about funding and innovation and we all explored how we could help these businesses with skills and support in our sector. 

“There are great meetings to follow and another event is already planned at NI.PARK in the summer”.

The latest tenant to move on to NI.PARK is industrial food processing manufacturer Provisur. 

The US-founded firm chose the Newport site as its UK base to deliver the pressing and slicing side of its business operations because of its Midlands location and agri-tech links within the food industry.

Provisur has headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, with a global network of sales and service locations and helps customers deliver value through new product applications, advanced 

Aaron Hale, Provisur Account Manager Slicing UK & Ireland, said: “We looked at a number of possibilities for the UK base but the unit at NI.PARK was shortlisted because of its central location, the excellent units it offers on site and its links with Harper Adams University.

“We’re looking forward to integrating into the Ni.PARK community and developing links with Harper Adams and other agri-tech businesses.

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